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MLB Opening Day Dining Guide
Posted by Charlie Harris

Let's just disregard those bizarre first couple of games in Japan and declare Wednesday the official start of Major League Baseball. And what would baseball be without ballpark food? Hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks and ice cream served in little plastic helmets are among the classics, but many stadiums specialize in regional foodstuffs or even have kiosks run by local restaurants. You can get a lobster roll at Fenway Park (pronounced lobstaaah) or a cheesesteak from Tony Luke's at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Thursday marks the first full day of MLB games, so we've compiled a list of some of the best ballpark foods for the teams hosting games. And if you'd prefer nosh pre- or post-game, follow the links to find great locally owned restaurants near the stadiums.

Braves vs. Mets

Doc Gooden, Mookie Wilson and Darryl Strawberry will not be making comebacks anytime soon. The glory days of charmingly rickety Shea Stadium are gone. On the plus side, shiny new Citi Field vies for some of MLB's best concessions with the likes of hot dogs from Nathan's Famous and a trio of Danny Meyer endeavors with Blue Smoke, Shake Shack and El Verano Taqueria. restaurants near Citi Field

Red Sox vs. Tigers

Two hungry teams here. We already know the Red Sox bullpen craves beer and chicken (no judgment here, we're familiar with such shortcomings), and newly acquired Tiger Prince Fielder is not a man of modest appetites. Inside the stadium, fans can enjoy legit Detroit-style coneys (all-natural casing dog covered with chili, mustard and onions), elephant ears (the northerly cousin of the funnel cake) and, of course, Little Caesar's Pizza - Michael Ilitch owns the Tigers and Little Caesar's. restaurants near Comerica Park 

Phillies vs. Pirates

Don't overlook the Pirates. They spent a thrilling 5 days atop the NL Central last year. 'Twas fun while it lasted. The long suffering fans can take solace in a variety of stadium food such as pierogies, barbecue from Manny's (named for former catcher Manny Sanguillen) and fantastic Primanti Bros sandwiches (coleslaw and fries come on the sandwich from this glorious Steel City institutionz). restaurants near PNC Park

Nationals vs. Cubs

Do they still play the blues in Chicago, when baseball season rolls around? It's a good thing Steve Goodman didn't live to see the Bartman debacle. The "ivy covered burial ground" of the Cubbies serves up Chicago appropriate foods such as Vienna beef hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and  D'Agostino's Pizza. restaurants near Wrigley Field

Blue Jays vs. Indians

At Progressive Field, you can top your Sugardale hot dog or one of the signature "l" shaped soft pretzels with Bertman Ballpark Mustard, which as been part of Cleveland Indians concessions since the 1920s. Wash it down with a sudsy refreshment from Your Dad's Beer, featuring throwback brews such as Iron City, Blatz, Stroh's and Genessee - just like your old man used to sip between angry outbursts at the TV. restaurants near Progressive Field

Dodgers vs. Padres

Will Yonder Alonso be the savior of the Padres franchise (apologies, Jesus Guzman). With a name like that, how could he not be? Petco Park offers a veritable smorgasbord of west coast delights, from sushi and pot stickers to fish tacos and other seafood specialties.  restaurants near Petco Park

Marlins vs. Reds

It's a wonder moustached mascot Mr. Redlegs keeps such a trim figure with fried bologna sandwiches, Montgomery Inn barbecue and Skyline Chili topped hot dogs among the offerings at Great American Ball Park. If you really want to put your stomach on the 3-day DL, go with the meat lover's hot dog: a deep fried dog topped with chili, cheese and fried salami. restaurants near Great American Ball Park

Mr Redlegs

Maybe the extra calories go straight to his head?

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